The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday December 22, 2019 (NIV)

Zechariah 2-3

The Vision of the Measuring Line

In another vision I saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. “Where are you going?” I asked.

“To measure Jerusalem,” he answered, “to see how long and how wide it is.”

Then I saw the angel who had been speaking to me step forward, and another angel came to meet him. The first one said to the other, “Run and tell that young man with the measuring line that there are going to be so many people and so much livestock in Jerusalem that it will be too big to have walls. The Lord has promised that he himself will be a wall of fire around the city to protect it and that he will live there in all his glory.”

The Exiles Are Called to Come Home

6-7 The Lord said to his people, “I scattered you in all directions. But now, you exiles, escape from Babylonia and return to Jerusalem. Anyone who strikes you strikes what is most precious to me.”

So the Lord Almighty[a] sent me with this message for the nations that had plundered his people: “The Lord himself will fight against you, and you will be plundered by the people who were once your servants.”

When this happens, everyone will know that the Lord Almighty sent me.

10 The Lord said, “Sing for joy, people of Jerusalem! I am coming to live among you!”

11 At that time many nations will come to the Lord and become his people. He will live among you, and you will know that he has sent me to you. 12 Once again Judah will be the special possession of the Lord in his sacred land, and Jerusalem will be the city he loves most of all.

13 Be silent, everyone, in the presence of the Lord, for he is coming from his holy dwelling place.

The Prophet's Vision of the High Priest

(A)In another vision the Lord showed me the High Priest Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord. And there beside Joshua stood Satan,[b] ready to bring an accusation against him. (B)The angel of the Lord[c] said to Satan, “May the Lord condemn you, Satan! May the Lord, who loves Jerusalem, condemn you. This man is like a stick snatched from the fire.”

Joshua was standing there, wearing filthy clothes. The angel said to his heavenly attendants, “Take away the filthy clothes this man is wearing.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have taken away your sin and will give you new clothes to wear.”

He commanded the attendants to put[d] a clean turban on Joshua's head. They did so, and then they put the new clothes on him while the angel of the Lord stood there.

Then the angel told Joshua that the Lord Almighty had said: “If you obey my laws and perform the duties I have assigned you, then you will continue to be in charge of my Temple and its courts, and I will hear your prayers, just as I hear the prayers of the angels who are in my presence. (C)Listen then, Joshua, you who are the High Priest; and listen, you fellow priests of his, you that are the sign of a good future: I will reveal my servant, who is called The Branch! I am placing in front of Joshua a single stone with seven facets. I will engrave an inscription on it, and in a single day I will take away the sin of this land. 10 (D)When that day comes, each of you will invite your neighbor to come and enjoy peace and security, surrounded by your vineyards and fig trees.”


  1. Zechariah 2:8 Hebrew has two additional words, the meaning of which is unclear.
  2. Zechariah 3:1 A supernatural being whose name indicates he was regarded as the opponent of human beings.
  3. Zechariah 3:2 One ancient translation The angel of the Lord; Hebrew The Lord.
  4. Zechariah 3:5 Some ancient translations He commanded the attendants to put; Hebrew I said, “Let them put.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Revelation 13

The Two Beasts

13 (A)Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads; on each of its horns there was a crown, and on each of its heads there was a name that was insulting to God. (B)The beast looked like a leopard, with feet like a bear's feet and a mouth like a lion's mouth. The dragon gave the beast his own power, his throne, and his vast authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have been fatally wounded, but the wound had healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. Everyone worshiped the dragon because he had given his authority to the beast. They worshiped the beast also, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?”

(C)The beast was allowed to make proud claims which were insulting to God, and it was permitted to have authority for forty-two months. It began to curse God, his name, the place where he lives, and all those who live in heaven. (D)It was allowed to fight against God's people and to defeat them, and it was given authority over every tribe, nation, language, and race. (E)All people living on earth will worship it, except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to the Lamb that was killed.

“Listen, then, if you have ears! 10 (F)Whoever is meant to be captured will surely be captured; whoever is meant to be killed by the sword will surely be killed by the sword. This calls for endurance and faith on the part of God's people.”

11 Then I saw another beast, which came up out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb's horns, and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It used the vast authority of the first beast in its presence. It forced the earth and all who live on it to worship the first beast, whose wound had healed. 13 This second beast performed great miracles; it made fire come down out of heaven to earth in the sight of everyone. 14 And it deceived all the people living on earth by means of the miracles which it was allowed to perform in the presence of the first beast. The beast told them to build an image in honor of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was allowed to breathe life into the image of the first beast, so that the image could talk and put to death all those who would not worship it. 16 The beast forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, slave and free, to have a mark placed on their right hands or on their foreheads. 17 No one could buy or sell without this mark, that is, the beast's name or the number that stands for the name.

18 This calls for wisdom. Whoever is intelligent can figure out the meaning of the number of the beast, because the number stands for the name of someone. Its number is 666.

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Psalm 141

An Evening Prayer[a]

141 I call to you, Lord; help me now!
Listen to me when I call to you.
(A)Receive my prayer as incense,
my uplifted hands as an evening sacrifice.

Lord, place a guard at my mouth,
a sentry at the door of my lips.
Keep me from wanting to do wrong
and from joining evil people in their wickedness.
May I never take part in their feasts.

Good people may punish me and rebuke me in kindness,
but I will never accept honor from evil people,
because I am always praying against their evil deeds.
When their rulers are thrown down from rocky cliffs,
the people will admit that my words were true.
Like wood that is split and chopped into bits,
so their bones are scattered at the edge of the grave.[b]

But I keep trusting in you, my Sovereign Lord.
I seek your protection;
don't let me die!
Protect me from the traps they have set for me,
from the snares of those evildoers.
10 May the wicked fall into their own traps
while I go by unharmed.


  1. Psalm 141:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David.
  2. Psalm 141:7 Verses 5-7 in Hebrew are unclear.

Cross references:

  1. Psalm 141:2 : Rev 5:8
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Proverbs 30:18-20

18 There are four things that are too mysterious for me to understand:

19 (A)an eagle flying in the sky,
a snake moving on a rock,
a ship finding its way over the sea,
and a man and a woman falling in love.

20 This is how an unfaithful wife acts: she commits adultery, takes a bath, and says, “But I haven't done anything wrong!”

Cross references:

  1. Proverbs 30:19 : Wis 5:10-Wis 5:12
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society